Singer and performer FKA twigs has organised a social media takeover to highlight pioneering sex worker-led organisations in need of support during COVID-19.
FKA twigs recently launched a fundraising campaign to support sex workers struggling under financial pressures brought on by the pandemic. She has also been amplifying awareness around advocacy groups across her social media accounts.
Within the visuals for her second album MAGDALENE, FKA twigs drew upon her experience with pole dancing. While launching the fund, she said, “I feel like now is the time for me to step forward, pay respect, and shine a light on the challenges facing sex workers, especially during these uncertain times.
“Sex workers I know and have met have discipline, craft, talent and work ethic – not only do they deserve better long-term, but their income has been wiped out by the lockdown and many are invisible to the financial aid available to others.”
Ireland’s leading sex worker-led organisation SWAI were involved in the takeover on FKA twigs’ Twitter page. In a moving thread, the group illustrated the history and failure of the Nordic Model as well as the vital work still needed in terms of legal representation.
— FKA twigs (@FKAtwigs) August 13, 2020
During FKA twigs’ Twitter takeover, SWAI wrote, “Ireland is moving away from its dark past of controlling women’s bodies. We #repealedthe8th, brought in the Gender Recognition Bill, and legalised same-sex marriage. Sex workers must be listened to in this review. You can ensure that that happens.”
Ireland is moving away from its dark past of controlling women’s bodies. We #repealedthe8th, brought in the Gender Recognition Bill, and legalised same-sex marriage. Sex workers must be listened to in this review. YOU can ensure that that happens.
— FKA twigs (@FKAtwigs) August 13, 2020
On FKA twigs’ Instagram, the singer wrote, “This post is a list of grassroots sex worker-led organisations we think you should know about! Go follow and support them – many are self-funded or without funding whatsoever so rely entirely on public engagement.”
View this post on Instagram
***TAKEOVER*** This post is a list of grassroots sex worker led organisations we think you should know about! Go follow and support them – many are self-funded or without funding whatsoever so rely entirely on public engagement. Please support sex workers in this time of crisis and remember #sexworkiswork 1: @harpiesinthesky is a weekly club night run by and featuring LGBT+ strippers at an East London Strip Club, with priority on BIPoC trans dancers. 2: @cybertease_ is a workers’ coop virtual strip club created by unionised sex workers of @unitedstrippersoftheworld in response to the Covid pandemic closing workplaces – next event 20th Aug. 3: @radioavasw is a sex worker led radio station based in London. 4: @berlin_strippers_collective are our sisters in Berlin who organise events, life drawing classes and SW community work. 5: English Collective of Prostitutes @ecp_org based in the UK have been campaigning for the decriminalisation of prostitution, for sex workers’ rights and safety, and choice since 1975. 6: Black Sex Workers Collective @thebswc are grassroots organisation supporting current & former black sex workers 7: @umbrellalane is a sex worker led project in Scotland dedicated to providing a rights-based holistic approach to the needs and rights of sex workers, and reducing social stigma towards SW. 8: @juiceboxevents is the ultimate empowerment party led by the hottest LGBTQ+ Womxn of colour. They are an all inclusive platform & introduced the UK’s first Stud Stripper / Dom Dancer, providing a platform for masc performers 9: NUM @nationaluglymugs is an essential harm-reduction initiative providing a database and reporting service for SWs to screen dodgy clients and stay safe.
The Instagram takeover features nine grassroots sex worker-led organisations from around the world and illustrates the crucial work they are performing.
Among the groups featured are Harpies in the Sky, a club night run by and performed by queer strippers at East London Strip Club, with a priority on BIPOC trans dancers, and Black Sex Workers Collective, which supports current and former Black sex workers.
Other organisations mentioned in the social takeover includes Cybertease, a virtual strip club established by unionised sex workers; a sex worker-led radio station, Radio Avasw; Berlin Strippers collective, a group who organise events in Berlin such as life drawing classes and SW community work; and Juice Box Events – “the ultimate empowerment party led by the hottest LGBTQ+ Womxn of colour. They are an all-inclusive platform and introduced the UK’s first Stud Stripper / Dom Dancer, providing a platform for masc performers.”
In many ways, FKA twigs continues to raise awareness about the lives of sex workers before and during COVID-19. As it reads on her Twitter account, “Lots of sex workers have no choice than to continue working through the pandemic.
“Sex work isn’t an essential service for our clients but our incomes are essential. If you + your family depend on sex work money and access to government help is denied, you’ll carry on working.”
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